Stine’s Ask the Agronomist blog is your source to the latest information from our expert team, including advice and insight on field practices, product recommendations, planting and harvest updates, new technologies, crop management, innovative research and information about how to keep your farm operation running smoothly year round. 

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    Importance of Residual Herbicides

    February 27, 2017

    Posted by Dustin Ellis in Crop Management

    No matter what kind of soybean variety or corn hybrid you plant this season, your fields could greatly benefit from a pre-emergence herbicide with a residual. I always recommend growers put a residual product down, especially in front of soybeans. Residual herbicides help control tough weeds before they get too large and tough to eliminate. And with mid- to high fertilizer prices, why would you want to use available fertilizer to feed weeds in your fields?  Fortunately, the last few springs have been relatively wet, and the weeds didn’t have to compete for moisture in our fields. If this weather pattern changes, however, and we get an extremely dry spring, there’s a large chance these weeds will compete even more for available moisture and fertilizer.

    With just a little amount of rainfall, pre-emergence herbicides with residual reactivate to provide longer lasting control over a number of broadleaves and grasses, including waterhemp, lambsquarter, ragweed, kochia, palmer amaranth and velvetleaf. Combined with a residual, pre-emergence herbicides manage weeds as they germinate or newly emerge, which is the most vulnerable time for weeds.

    The earlier you can kill or stunt the growth of weeds, the less chance they have to over populate and challenge the crop for growing room and resources. It also makes it easier and more cost-effective when it comes time for a post-emergence applications, as the crops are allowed to canopy and shade out the remaining weeds. This may allow growers to make fewer applications or even eliminate the need for a post-emergence application depending on the success of the pre-emerge and residual.  

    For soybeans, I recommend applying full rates of pre-emerge herbicides 20 to 30 days before planting. Don’t start cutting rates, which gives the weeds a better chance of becoming resistant. 

    In corn, I recommend applying up to seven days before planting or before corn emerges to help kill and suppress the weeds from the very beginning. Then you can apply a post-emergence application — and probably less of it — to tackle any weeds that survived and have fully emerged.  

    There are a handful of pre-emergence herbicides available for both corn and soybeans, so make sure you do your research and read the labels before you get started.

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    Where in the World is Stine?

    February 21, 2017

    Posted by Stine Seed in Research

    If you guessed Adel, Iowa, you are correct! At least that’s where Stine headquarters is located, in addition to a nearby office in Dallas Center, Iowa. But as the tractors on Stine Seed Farm sit idle during the winter months, we’re still farming 365 days a year to bring growers the highest-yielding genetics and increased seed options for their farms. So where in the world is Stine during the winter months? Here’s a hint: you have to go down south, way down south. To keep our breeding program active year round, Stine has a fast generation corn and soybean breeding program in the South American country of Guyana.

    Once home to a Dutch plantation, Stine’s 120-acre farm in Guyana is nestled between lush rainforest on one side and savannah on the other. Here, Stine plants and harvests corn hybrids and soybean varieties year round, employing approximately 80 full- and part-time employees. Employees who work on the farm must use canoes to get back and forth to their homes as there are virtually no roads leading into the farm. Most visitors have to fly in on a puddle jumper airplane to reach the farm.

    So why Guyana? Why choose a location so remote and hard to access? The fast generation breeding program in Guyana started in 2004 after Harry Stine — founder and CEO of Stine — traveled around the globe looking for the best environment and circumstances for a fast generation breeding program. Because of the warm weather and sandy soil, researchers in Guyana can turn a crop in about 90 days, which totals four generations per year. Most of our competitors can accomplish only three generations per year in places like Hawaii, Argentina and Chile.

    With our fast generation breeding program in Guyana, Stine can move germplasm through the system faster. This means more rapid advancements, faster trait introgression and, ultimately, for our growers, priority access to the highest-yielding, elite genetics on the market.  

    To learn more about Stine’s fast generation breeding program, visit our website.

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    Stine Agronomists Agree — Weed Management Program a Must this Planting Season

    February 14, 2017

    Posted by Stine Seed in Crop Management

    Whether you’re considering burndown, pre-emerge or post-emerge applications, one thing is certain — growers need to implement a full weed management program to protect their yields from weed competition this spring.

    Different weeds have different photosynthetic processes and can be more problematic early in the growing season or closer to late summer. You need to understand the weeds that pose the greatest threat to your yields and their germination cycles before you can develop an efficient weed management program. For example, one single female waterhemp plant can produce up to a million seeds, and each seed can remain active in the soil for several years. And while waterhemp can pop up at any given time, it’s more prevalent during late growing season. Giant ragweed can be difficult to control because of its ability to survive in many different environments, including roadsides and flood plains, which makes the plant and its seed extremely volatile. Giant ragweed is also one of the earlier weeds, emerging in March in many areas of the Corn Belt.

    No matter the region, herbicide-resistant weeds and grasses can wreak havoc on your corn and soybean acres, which is why all growers need to implement a weed control program this year. Stine RSAs John Furlong and Jason Green have some advice to consider:

    RSA John Furlong

    “No matter what you use, you need to use a pre- with a different mode of action because no one chemical is going to get every weed.”

    Pre-emergence herbicides play a vital role in weed control. They protect your acres during the critical period after planting, and some often offer residual control to maintain that control post-emergence.

    RSA Jason Greene

    “With weeds like waterhemp, marestail and palmer amaranth, applying a heavy dose of pre-emergence herbicide is a fantastic idea. Stine also has ways to battle glyphosate resistance with products such as LibertyLink® soybeans. And now with Balance GT coming around in the future, we’ll have another product in our toolbox to fight those weeds.”

    Using multiple effective modes of action within the same growing season is an excellent way to outsmart weeds. Studies confirm that the more growers rely heavily on just one herbicide mode of action, the more herbicide-resistant weeds sprout from its overuse. Consider a pre-emergence herbicide with residual capabilities and apply a post-emergence application before the weeds reach four inches. Consider a burndown application on fields where early-emerging weeds have posed a problem in the past so that you can tackle the weeds before they fully germinate. RSA Jason Green offers more tips here.